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New ‘giant’ spider discovered in central Queensland




Australia has a new spider to add to its list of wildlife, following the formal cataloguing of a new species in Queensland.

The new species of trapdoor spider is only found in the Brigalow Belt in Central Queensland and has been discovered and described by Queensland Museum scientists.

The new species, named Euoplos dignitas, is a large trapdoor spider that lives in open woodland habitats and builds its burrows in the black soils of the Central Queensland region.

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Its name is derived from the Latin dignitas, meaning dignity or greatness, to reflect the impressive size and nature of the spider.

“It’s a big, beautiful species,” Dr Michael Rix, principal curator of Arachnology at Queensland Museum, said.

It also pays homage to Project DIG, who supported the research project in the field work, genetic research and lab work.

A new ‘giant’ species of spider has been discovered and documented in Queensland. Credit: Queensland Museum

This species is known from only a very few locations around Eidsvold and Monto in Central Queensland.

Euoplos dignitas has lost much of its habitat to land clearing and is likely to be considered an endangered species.

Trapdoor spiders can be mistaken for funnel-web spiders despite the fact they do not pose the same danger to humans.

Examples of a male (left) and female (right) Euoplos dignitas. Credit: Queensland Museum

”What I really love about the type of work we get to do here at the Queensland Museum,” Dr Jeremy Wilson, research assistant of arachnology at Queensland Museum, said.

“You get to come into the collection and look through specimens from across Australia and you just never know what you’re going to find.

“When you then get to see that through to the end, which is giving a name to that species and knowing that that species is now known to everyone and can be protected.”

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